If you are one of the SAP customers who is still running BusinessObjects XI 3.1, I would urge you to add an upgrade to BusinessObjects 4.2 into your immediate plans for 2017. Although SAP has extended priority one support until Dec 2018, this should not mean upgrading your BI environment should be delayed. As the software that supports your BI platform reaches end of life, you are putting your system at unnecessary risk. In addition, understand that Priority One support is limited. SAP will only develop XI 3.1 software for true production outages. Specifically, this means there will be no bug fixes or new functionality developed for the platform (including possible issues with hardware).
What’s Stopping You?
If there is a reason why you cannot upgrade to BusinessObjects 4.1 or 4.2, SAP wants to hear from you. Contact SAP or your SAP sales representative asap. They can put you in contact with someone who can help you.
Need more help on how to prepare for an upgrade? There are excellent resources available online as well such as the
Is There Any Other Reason to Upgrade?
Yes. There are a number of very important reasons for you to move to BI 4.2. Aside from the additional business value you will undoubtedly realize due to the increased power of the BI Suite, you should consider the following:
- Connectivity: While I don’t understand your complete landscape, connectivity to new applications (BW/4HANA, S/4HANA, etc) and databases (upgrades) will likely cause you significant challenges. The BI 4.2 is highly integrated to all SAP platforms and supports all modern databases. If you check the BusinessObjects XI 3.1 Product Availability Matrix, you will see it does not support current databases or applications.
- 32 bit vs 64 bit code line: Is 32 bit really getting it done for you these days? If your reports get too large, it’s possible for your reporting processes to crash because they run out of memory. Administrators often have to optimize system loads to overcome this issue. If you move to BI 4.x, you can take advantage of the 64 bit architecture, which allows you to use modern database drivers the best possible performance. As your needs for Analytics continue to grow, so will the amounts of data you need to process through your BI system.
- Operating System Support: I’ve been supporting BusinessObjects environments for many, many years. Over and over again I have seen the operating system present a significant challenges to the administrator when their BusinessObjects system gets too old. I remember when organizations did wholesale retirements of Windows Server 2000 and Windows XP. Customers were stuck on BusinessObjects XIR2 and couldn’t get client tools to run on the Windows Vista or Windows 7. Suddenly the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ attitude became a huge fire drill as administrators were forced to draw up emergency plans to tackle these incompatibilities.
And Then There’s Java
How much longer is your IT department going to allow you to run software with a Java Plug-in? If you using all the features of WebIntelligence then it’s also likely that you are familiar with the need to use the Java Plug-in to leverage some of the capabilities that WebIntelligence offers. Two years ago you may have seen this security article discussing the challenges that come with Java. There were several security breaches associated with Oracle’s JAVA plug-in and fake installation websites. With BusinessObjects 4.2 SP4, organizations can be completely free from the Java Plug-in.
There are more resources than ever to simplify the process.
These pattern books are a great start. You can begin planning immediately for your system upgrade so you can begin taking advantage of the latest innovations from SAP while making sure you are not taking unnecessary security and reliability risks with some of your companies most important assets — the system that provides the critical insights they need to make decisions everyday.
Did I mention all the new capabilities in BI 4.2? How much time have you got? 😉